Thursday, July 31, 2008

Eloquent Wrestler...

Remember when I wrote this post in May?

Remember Stage Four?

'Fourth Stage: HARSH REALITY/ ETHICAL QUESTIONING. A lot of these children up for adoption are not necessarily orphans. In fact a lot of them have TWO parents, a mom and a dad. They have siblings. They are being relinquished because their family can no longer afford to feed them. They will be, by your adopting them, taken from their country, their family and the only lives they have ever known. Their losses will be enormous. This is where it starts to get tricky. This is where you start wrestling a lot. " If I really cared about Ethiopia, I would take these thousands of dollars in adoption fees and bring them immediately to the organization that would do everything in their power to preserve this Ethiopian family." These thousands of dollars could keep many Ethiopian families intact. Which brings me to my next stage...'

Well apparently Nicky is wrestling too, but in a much more eloquent way. Here is her post. The comments are worth reading as well. Except for mine. I can't say anything insightful right now.

Right now, I am too busy doing my emotional wrestling with God, (if he exists).

I am wondering why he is letting my husband's mother suffer so much.



I did wrestle the teff though...


Now what do I do with it?


Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sunday Garden Tour: Before and After, & Why I Think Moses Might Be Ethiopian...


It is nice having our Habesha garden. It is even nicer having a friend who can cook.

I picked...


I gathered...




Allen worked his magic...



The eggplant was stuffed with fresh pesto sauce. The shrimp rested comfortably on a bed of sauteed fava beans. Delicious!



Also, I think Moses is Ethiopian! 

He won't stop eating the teff!



Then he takes over the bed, leaving me a tiny corner to sleep in. This places me in the unenviable position, directly downwind of the roughage eater.



Speaking of the teff, anyone out there know how to turn this...


Into this?


I guess I should read up on teff harvesting.




Although it is pleasant, I am not fully enjoying the garden. I am trying, but it really was Steven's project, and he is missing the whole thing.

 I try to send pics of things like...

The nascent cantaloupe...


And the First Floret...

But it just isn't the same.

 I really wish he were here to enjoy it.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Dweller on the Threshold.

I'm ready. 

They're out there. I know it.

Ethiopia?


My friend Deb, Gabby's mom, belongs to an online group of women. A couple of them have been asking about adopting from Ethiopia. I thought I would post this pic of my friend Marley and his ecstatic mommy.

Yeah, I'd say it's worth considering.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Like Actually.

I never understood why women found Colin Firth attractive.

To me, sexy, plus British, plus actor, equals THIS GUY.

I started to get it when I saw this movie...



Okay, he is a little bit charming.

You know what is even more charming about Colin Firth?

Apparently he cares about Ethiopia...

Here is an article, and Here is another one.

He even auctioned himself off to the highest bidder, for Oxfam.

I underestimated you Mr. Firth, well done.

(There is still no way in hell I am going to see that 'Mama Mia' movie.)

Friday Friend or Family Feature...

Today's Feature is...


Clark Duncan.




Unfortunately this is a posthumous tribute.

Clark was Steven's favorite college professor. He died on Friday, July 11th. He was 74 years old.

You can read about him Here.

I love what our friend Chris says about him in the article,

"He was one of the most creative people I ever worked with. He was one of those guys who always came to work with his shoes covered in paint and a holey shirt splashed with paint, and a cigarette hanging out of his mouth. He could stare at a piece of blank plywood, and 20 minutes later you'd have an amazing design or backdrop painted on it."


Steven did not mention to me that Clark had died. I read it in one of our Yahoo mail accounts. I imagine he didn't tell me, not because it slipped his mind, but because he didn't want me to ask him about it, and have him feel sad all over again. You know when you are trying not to cry and someone hugs you, or asks you if you are all right? I imagine it is something like that. It seems to me that my husband is being treated to a summer of grief.

Steven loved Clark. Clark was his mentor, his friend, and eventually his peer.



That's a picture of Clark at our wedding.


Everybody loved Clark.


Clark was a theatre person. He lived and breathed theatre. He was great fun to be with. Being around Clark was like taking a theatre trip to New York City, only with better scenery, tastier food, and a higher altitude. Even though he was two thousand miles away from the Big Apple, he always knew what shows were running, who designed them, and if they were worth seeing.

The last time we saw Clark was in 2006. We went back to Santa Fe for a visit, and Clark took us out for a lovely Italian lunch. He regaled us with new stories. He told us all about his plans for his retirement. It was his last year of teaching. It was a lively lunch, filled with fun and laughter.




How will my adoption impact Clark?

Well obviously Clark will never meet our kids, but he will still be important to them.

How?

Clark admired Steven's talent. He helped him to recognize his strengths, and to sharpen his eye for design. Clark was not afraid to brag about his students. He often told Steven how proud he was of him. Steven, who often feels like he has 'sold out' (his words, never mine), was constantly reassured by Clark that it was actually okay to earn a good living with a theatre degree. It wasn't necessary, in Clark's opinion, to live in NYC, design only for the theatre, and exist solely on Ramen noodles in order to consider yourself an artist. I think this was important for Steven to realize.

Maybe I am inflating the amount of sadness my husband is feeling about this loss. I don't know since we aren't together right now. Hopefully Steven is focusing on the rich, full, colorful life Clark led while he was here. I sure hope so.



A. Clark Duncan you will be missed.



Cyber hug to you my husband. I am sorry for your loss.




The 'C' word...Clark.

Did I mention that I hate cancer?


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Monday, July 21, 2008

Letter From a Senator and Book Club Questions...

A Haitian woman bakes clay 'biscuits' under the Sun May 9, 2008 in the Port-au-Prince slum of Cite Soleil. As the food crisis continues in Haiti, rice and bean prices have increased by some 100 percent according to officials, forcing many to turn to the clay 'biscuits' as a source of food. The clay is mixed with salt and vegetable fat and dried in the sun. AFFP PHOTO/Thony BELIZAIRE.


Did you guys see this picture from Haiti?

I recently wrote to my senators about the global food crisis. I spoke specifically about Ethiopia.

Here is a letter I received today...

Thank you for writing regarding foreign food aid to Ethiopia. I appreciate hearing from you and welcome the opportunity to respond.

Like you, I am committed to helping alleviate the suffering of people living in poverty around the world, and admire your concern for the people of Ethiopia. I believe that in order to remain a leader in the global economy and international affairs, the United States must be willing to promote our interests overseas with many tools, including a robust foreign aid budget that offers relief to the millions of people suffering from poverty and starvation throughout the developing world.

You will be pleased to know that Congress recently approved $1.25 billion in emergency foreign food aid as part of recent supplemental appropriations legislation. This funding is intended to help ease the suffering of people around the world affected by the recent food shortages. Further, the President has requested $1.64 billion in fiscal year 2009 for international development assistance, including $69.8 million for Ethiopia. Please know that I understand your support for increased aid to Ethiopia and will keep your thoughts in mind as the Senate continues to consider funding for international food aid programs.

Again, thank you for writing. I hope you will continue to keep me informed on issues of importance to you. Should you have any further comments or questions, please feel free to contact my Washington, D.C. office at (202) 224-3841. Best regards.

Sincerely yours,
Dianne Feinstein
United States Senator


On a lighter topic...

I can't believe how many of you want to do a book club! Woo Hoo! I thought that maybe everyone could just read along with our local Ethiopian Book Club, but maybe we can do something more high tech. Is there anyone out there who has an idea about how to do this? I am not very computer savvy. I think it would be cool to have an online book club chat. Although, isn't the best part of a book club the actual getting together and partaking in libations? Could you guys move here? That's what I would like best.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Don't Tell Steven...

I had a date last night. Do you see the way he is gazing at me lovingly from the Ergo carrier?



It was all a ruse. Little dude had other plans....

I should have paid more attention to his shirt.

Little dude invited these ladies to our date...

Flirty McFlirterson...
Dude has got some moves...



Moses was suspicious from the start...

Watch him as he 'pretends to help Pip pick her next crayon'...


Pip started getting suspicious...

When he drooled all over her drawing, it was pretty much over...

We kicked him to the curb, and settled in for some girl time...

We talked about boys, and how silly they can be.

Two pizzas, three cookies, two plums, and six Leo Lionni stories later, we felt much better.

So Marley, you broke my heart...



Yeah You! Don't look so surprised! You know you did.


Serves me right for hanging out with you while Steven is away.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Friday Friend or Family Feature...

will return next week.

Here are two quotes that I read in the press this week about two of my favorite features...

Kate


"Kate contributes a constrained, ingenious solo."


Mark

"Mark's confused notary is notable for his physical exaggerations, a fine example of how an artful actor can mine comedic gold from even small parts."


If you live in Chicago, or Utah, and would like to see my fabulous siblings perform in person, e-mail me and I'll send you the info.

Also, if Mark is playing a notary on stage, do you think I could have him notarize some adoption documents? Seems okay right?


Lastly, Lauren has started up our local Ethiopian Book Club. Wanna join virtually?

Here is our first selection...



We have committed to reading the first 100 pages by mid August. Come on and join us!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Would you place children with these people...

Red Hot Road Trip.

It is always good to have some sort of red candy for Road Trips. I recommend Hot Tamales. Cherry Sours will work as well.

Although it is not endorsed by the Veterinarians' association, it is also ideal to hang your jowls out the window, and feel the wind on your gums.



That is a mighty big jowl.

Monday, July 14, 2008

The World is So You Have Something To Stand On....

Steven came home for the weekend. He has been in Phoenix since the first week in June. He has been taking care of his mom.

It is hot in Arizona, hot and boring.

For fun, Steven decided to cultivate the 'soul patch'...

Unfortunately, I think this makes him look like this Guy.

He, however, thinks he looks like this Guy.

Between you and me, he could have shown up looking like this guy, and I still would have made out with him. (It's been a loooooong month.)


We found a new favorite children's book. It is a hand-me-down from Pip and Squeak.

"A Hole Is To Dig," by Ruth Krauss; pictures by Maurice Sendak.

We, as a family, wholeheartedly agree with the themes of this book...















I'll spare you a photo for this one. Let's just say this, sometimes it is good to see your husband so that he can remind you that you are about six hours shy of a unibrow.



Our family is still pretty much consumed with grief. I guess that is why I don't feel much like blogging. When Steven was here, I snuggled against him and pressed my forehead firmly between his shoulder blades. I breathed him in. I could sense a sadness so deep. During these trying and difficult days, we must remember these lessons from our new favorite book...